Article 5. Hillside Planned Development District (H-P-D)

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10-2.2.501 Purpose and Intent.

The City of Walnut Creek is situated among a series of major and minor hills. These hill constitute a significant natural topographical feature of the community because they are visible to all persons traveling the major highway arteries leading to central Contra Costa County, as well as to citizens residing in and around the community. The migration of substantial number of persons to this area and the attendant technological amenities required to serve that population have not, as yet, detrimentally impinged upon these hills. However, in order to ensure the preservation of most of the hills, ridges, streams, ponds and associated riparian vegetation, ridgelines, and their natural features, a more harmonious visual and functional relationship is required between the existing and natural environment and the growing man-made environment. It is therefore the declared intent of the City that undeveloped land in hillside areas be placed into a Hillside Planned Development District, to be identified by the initials H-P-D, in order to accomplish the following:

a. To preserve significant features of a hill area in essentially their natural state as part of a comprehensive open space system;

b. To encourage, in hill areas, an alternative approach to conventional flat land practices of development;

c. To minimize grading and cut and fill operations consistent with the retention of the natural character of the hill areas;

d. To minimize the water runoff and soil erosion problems incurred in adjustment of the terrain to meet on-site and off-site development needs;

e. To achieve land use densities that are in keeping with the General Plan; however, in order to retain the significant natural features of the hill areas, densities will diminish as the slope of the terrain increases;

f. To ensure that the open space, as shown on any development plan, is consistent with the open space element shown on the General Plan;

g. To preserve the predominant views both from and of the hill areas and to retain the sense of identity and image that these hill areas now impart to the City of Walnut Creek and its environs; and

h. To preserve, where possible, natural streams, natural and manmade ponds and associated riparian vegetation.


10-2.2.502 Interim Uses.

If any land has been zoned H-P-D but no P-D permit has been approved thereon, no new use shall be established on such land. Any single family residential or agricultural buildings lawfully existing at the time of the establishment of H-P-D zoning on that property may be enlarged, structurally altered, or accessory buildings may be constructed. Any remodeling or construction of any building as permitted by this article shall conform to the various conditions to use and the development regulations required in the R-40 district.

10-2.2.503 Land Use Regulations.

All land with an Open Space/Agriculture General Plan land use designation is hereby zoned "Hillside Planned Development" ("H-P-D") and shall be limited to a maximum density of one (1) dwelling unit per ten (10) acres. The City Council may authorize density transfers from Open Space/Agriculture Lands to other lands pursuant to the procedures set forth in this code or pursuant to procedures established by the City Council; provided that in no event shall dwelling units be transferred to Open Space/Agriculture Lands or High Risk Areas, and in no event shall the density of the transferred lands exceed the maximum density allowed under the zoning applicable to such transferred lands. In determining the appropriate density transfer credit applicable to any such Open Space/Agriculture Land, the City Council may authorize the transfer of a new density of no greater than one (1) dwelling unit per ten (10) acres. (Meas. P; Ord. 1781, 11/5/91)

No use shall be permitted in the Hillside Planned Development District except in accord with a valid Planned Development Permit. Any permitted or conditionally permitted use in the Land Use Regulations table may be included in an approved P-D Permit, if consistent with the General Plan land use designation.

10-2.2.504 Open Space/Agriculture Land Density.

Development on any Open Space/Agriculture Lands, as defined in this Ordinance, shall: (a) be prohibited on slopes with existing grades of twenty percent (20%) or greater, or within 75 vertical feet of any Ridgeline. or within the area surrounding any Native Tree for a distance of one and one-half times the distance from the trunk to the dripline, which slopes and areas shall be left in their natural state; (b) not exceed a density of one (1) dwelling unit per ten (10) acres; (c) be limited to detached, single family residential housing and normal appurtenances; (d) be located and constructed in such a manner as to prevent visual impacts on scenic vistas and existing neighborhoods; (e) not result in the cutting of or damage to any Native Tree; and (f) not be eligible for density bonuses, adjustments or averaging, including without limitation those provided in Subsection (g) of this Section 10-2.2220. (Meas. P; Ord. 1781, 11/5/91) (Section 10-2.2220. Hillside Planned Development H-P-D Permit has been eliminated from the zoning code. The statement in italics is no longer applicable.)

10-2.2.505 High Risk Area Density.

Development within areas identified as High Risk Areas shall be limited to a maximum density of one (1) dwelling unit per twenty acres. If any High Risk Area is located wholly or partly within Open Space/Agriculture Lands, said area shall be subject to the provisions of Sec. 10-2.2.504., except that the maximum density shall be as specified in this section. (Meas. P; Ord. 1781, 11/5/91)

10-2.2.506 Land Use Regulations Table.

No use shall be permitted in the Hillside Planned Development District except in accord with a valid Planned Development Permit. Any permitted or conditionally permitted use in the Land Use Regulations Table (as follows) may be included in an approved Planned Development Permit, if consistent with the General Plan land use designation.

In the following table, the letters in the "Use Regulation" column are defined as follows:



A permitted use.



A use permitted subject to certain limitations prescribed by the "Use Regulations" that immediately follow the table.



A use permitted upon approval of a Conditional Use Permit.

Letters in parentheses in the "Additional Regulations" column are described in the "Additional Regulations" section following the "Use Regulations". Where a Use Regulation or a letter in parenthesis is opposite a use classification heading, the referenced regulations shall apply to all use classifications under the heading. Land uses not listed (indicated by strikeout) are not permitted.




A. Residential Use Classifications



1. Adult Day Care Home



2. Congregate Living Facility



3. Family Day Care Home



a. Small Family Day Care Home



b. Large Family Day Care Home



4. Group Residential



5. Multiple Family Residential



6. Residential Care Home



7. Accessory Dwelling Units



a. Accessory Dwelling Unit



b. Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit



8. Single Family Residential



B. Commercial Use Classifications



1. Ambulance Services



2. Animal Sales and Service



a. Animal Hospital



b. Animal: Retail Sales and Grooming



c. Horse Stables



d. Kennel



3. Artist Studio



4. Banks and Savings and Loans



a. Banks and Savings and Loans



(1) With Drive-up Service



(2) With Automated Teller Machine



5. Catering Services



6. Commercial Cannabis Business



a. Commercial Cannabis Cultivation



b. Commercial Cannabis Distribution



c. Commercial Cannabis Manufacturing



d. Commercial Cannabis Retail Dispensary



(1) With Cannabis Delivery



e. Nonstorefront Delivery-Only Operation


f. Commercial Cannabis Testing Laboratory



7. Communication Facilities



8. Custom Manufacturing



9. Eating and Drinking Establishments



a. Eating and Drinking Establishments



(1) With Alcoholic Beverage Service



(2) With Live Entertainment/Dancing



(3) With Take-out Service



(a) Drive-up



(4) With Permanent Outdoor Seating



(5) With Off-site Distribution



(a) Micro-brewery



10. Food and Beverage Sales



a. Food and Beverage Sales



b. Convenience Market



(1) With Gasoline Sales



c. Specialty Food Shops



(1) With Off-site Distribution



11. Funeral and Interment Services



12. Health Clubs



13. Home Improvement Sales and Service



14. Horticultural Establishment



15. Lumber and Building Material Yard



16. Maintenance and Repair Service/Small Equipment



17. Mini Storage



18. Nursery



19. Offices, Business and Professional



a. Offices, Business and Professional



(1) Offices, Medical



20. Parking, Commercial Facility



21. Pawn Shop



22. Personal Improvement Services



23. Personal Services



24. Recreation and Entertainment, Commercial



a. Within a Building



b. Outside a Building



25. Research and Development Services



26. Retail Sales/Rental



27. Vehicle/Equipment Sales and Service



a. Automobile Sales/New and Used



b. Automobile Washing


c. Automobile Wrecking



d. Service Stations



(1) Automobile Washing



e. Vehicle/Equipment Repair



(1) Limited Vehicle Service



f. Vehicle/Equipment Sales and Rentals



g. Vehicle Storage



28. Visitor Accommodations



a. Bed and Breakfast Inns



b. Hotels



c. Motels



C. Industrial Use Classifications



1. General Industry



2. Limited Industry



3. Research Development Industry



4. Wholesaling, Distribution and Storage



D. Agricultural Use Classifications



1. Animal Husbandry



2. Crop Production



E. Community Facility Use Classifications



1. Adult Day Care Facility



2. Child Day Care Facility (Day Care Center)



3. Clubs and Lodges



4. College, Public or Private



5. Cultural Institutions



a. Cultural Institutions



b. Natural History/Science Museum



6. Emergency Medical Care



7. Government Offices



8. Hazardous Waste Management Facility



9. Heliports



10. Housing for the Homeless/Emergency Shelters



11. Hospitals



a. Acute Care



b. Other



12. Maintenance and Service Facilities



13. Park and Recreation Facilities



14. Public Parking Facilities


15. Public Safety Facilities



16. Public Transit Terminals



17. Recycling Facilities



a. Collection Facility



(1) Reverse Vending Machine



(2) Small Collection Facility



(3) Large Collection Facility



b. Processing Facility



18. Religious Assembly



19. Residential Care Facility



20. Schools, Public or Private



21. Skilled Nursing Facilities



22. Utilities, Major



23. Utilities, Minor



F. Accessory Uses



1. Accessory Living Quarters



2. Accessory Structure



3. Accessory Uses



a. Accessory Uses



b. Garage Sales



c. Home Occupations



d. Personal Cannabis Cultivation



G. Temporary Uses



1. Arts and Crafts Shows, Outdoor



2. Christmas Tree Sales



3. Civic/Community Events



4. Farmers Markets



5. Live Entertainment Events



6. Outdoor Seating/Eating and Drinking Establishment



7. Pumpkin Sales



8. Retail Sales, Outdoor



9. Swap Meets, Non-Recurring



10. Swap Meets, Recurring



11. Street Fairs



12. Vendor Carts




Permitted subject to the issuance of a Large Family Day Care Home Permit by the Zoning Administrator.


Permitted if such use is owned by and used exclusively for the residents of the subdivision or series of subdivisions which contain such use .


Private country clubs and golf courses or golf courses for general public use are permitted. All other uses within this category are not permitted.


Reverse vending machines used by occupants of single family homes, duplex units and multiple family housing projects for the sole collection and storage of recyclable material generated by on-site residents are permitted. Reverse vending machines and small collection facilities are permitted in Community Service Facilities (see Part III, Article 7. Recycling Facilities. for the definition of "Community Service Facilities") upon approval by the Community Development Director. Storage containers must be enclosed or placed out of view of any public right-of-way.


Electrical substations, aboveground electrical transmission lines, water pumping stations and switching buildings are permitted uses. All other uses within this classification are not permitted.


Accessory living quarters, as defined in Part I, Article 4. Use Classifications, are living quarters within an accessory structure, without kitchen facilities. Accessory living quarters are permitted subject to the standards in Sec. 10-2.3.103. Accessory Structures.


Accessory structures are permitted subject to the standards in Sec. 10-2.3.103. Accessory Structures.


Home Occupations are permitted subject to the approval of a Home Occupation Permit (see Sec. 10-2.3.107. Home Occupations ). Garage sales are a permitted use. For all other accessory uses, see the use regulation for the primary use classification.


Permitted in private and public country clubs and golf courses, neighborhood swim centers, park and recreation facilities, religious assembly, and schools subject to the approval of a Temporary Activity Permit (see Sec. 10-2.3.118. Temporary Activity Permits).


Personal cannabis cultivation is permitted subject to the regulations outlined by Article 14 of Part III of the Zoning Ordinance.



No use shall be permitted in the Hillside Planned Development District except in accord with a valid Planned Development Permit.


See Sec. 10-2.3.103. Accessory Structures.


See Sec. 10-2.3.107. Home Occupations.


See Sec. 10-2.3.108. Animals.


See Part III, Article 6. Child Day Care Facilities.


See Part III, Article 7. Recycling Facilities.


See Part III, Article 9. Inclusionary Housing.


See Part III, Article 14. Personal and Commercial Cannabis Activities.


See Part III, Article 5. Accessory Dwelling Units.


See Part III, Article 15. Qualified Senate Bill 9 Properties.

(§9, Ord. 2129, eff. 7/3/14; §§7(1), (18)—(20), Ord. 2183, eff. 9/8/18; §7, Ord. 2188, eff. 3/8/19; §11, Ord. 2210, eff. 10/22/21; §5(1), Ord. 2216, eff. 7/2/22; §8, Ord. 2234, eff. 11/17/23)

10-2.2.507 Permit Required.

Except as provided in Section 10-2.2.502. Interim Uses, property zoned pursuant to the provisions of this article shall neither be developed nor shall any grading permit be issued pursuant to Title 9 of this code until a Planned Development (P-D) permit has been obtained pursuant to the provisions of Part IV, Article 10. Planned Development Permit.

10-2.2.508 Property Development Regulations.

The following schedule prescribes development regulations for the Hillside Planned Development District. The symbol "NA" indicates that there is no restriction for that particular development regulation or it is not applicable in this District. Letters in parentheses refer to the "Additional Development Regulations" following the schedule.




A. Minimum Lot Area



B. Minimum Lot Width



C. Minimum Lot Frontage



D. Minimum Lot Depth



E. Minimum Setbacks



1. Front



2. Side



3. Corner Side



4. Rear



F. Maximum Height

25 feet


G. Density

1 dwelling unit per 10 acres


H. Maximum Lot Coverage



I. Design Review

See Sec. 10-2.4.1202.


J. Landscaping

See Part III, Article 11.


K. Storage Space for Residential Units



L. Fences and Walls

See Sec. 10-2.3.104.


M. Antennas

See Sec. 10-2.3.120.


N. Non-Conforming Conditions

See Part III, Article 3.


O. Recycling Facilities

See Part III, Article 7.


P. Parking and Loading

See Part III, Article 2.


Q. Signs

See Title 10, Chapter 8.


R. Preservation of Trees

See Title 3. Chapter 8 and Sec. 10-2.2.504.


S. Hillside Performance Standards

See Part III, Article 4.


T. Stormwater Control

See Title 9, Chapter 16.




The minimum lot area, lot width, lot frontage, lot depth and setbacks shall be determined in the approval of the Planned Development Permit.


See Sec. 10-2.2.506. Land Use Regulations, Sec. 10-2.2.504. Open Space/Agriculture Land Density, and Sec. 10-2.2.505. High Risk Area Density.


All development in the H-P-D district shall include a combination of landscaping consisting of intensely planted and maintained areas and open space preserved in it natural condition. Unless otherwise stated in the approval of an P-D permit, natural open space may be used for livestock grazing.


Each residential unit shall have at least 200 cubic feet of enclosed, weather-proofed and lockable private storage space in addition to guest, linen, pantry and clothes closets customarily provided. Such space may be provided in any location approved by the Community Development Department, but shall not be divided into two or more locations.

(§2, Ord. 2037, eff. 12/17/04; §9, Ord. 2108, eff. 4/7/12)